Guest post by Jorge Sagastume
It is our pleasure to feature Jorge Sagastume, the Vice President at Escrow Tech International, Inc to be our guest blogger.
It Won’t Be that Hard to Adjust – Seven Technologies that will have Huge Impact on the way Companies Work
All industries are witnessing significant technology changes in the past two or three decades. And while core manufacturing processes stay relatively intact, business processes and procedures are developing rapidly.
Advancements in fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) lay the foundation for disruptive business practices that affect virtually all industries. The emergence of new generation of computing processors and the progress in the field of quantum computing create opportunities in brand new business spheres.
One should also take into account the rapid growth of technologies like blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT), which create both business opportunities and demand adoption of innovative business approaches and processes to be effective.
1. Increasing Hardware Computing Power
Intel’s eighth-generation chips, the Core line, features 14++nm (Coffee Lake) and 10nm (Cannon Lake) technologies and offers productivity boost of up to 40 percent compared to seventh-generation computer processors. It is a huge advancement, enabling business laptops and PCs to operate on a whole new level and take full advantage of resource-consuming operating systems and enterprise platforms.
The new chips can handle things like 4K video, VR, 3D, and other recent innovations on a platform-wide level. Also, new generations of graphic processor units are able to process vast amounts of data very fast, which will give a boost to further development of technologies such as blockchain and IoT.
2. IoT Networks Are Becoming Reality
A good number of connected devices do not even need last-generation chips to operate smoothly. The IoT networks, which were only a blueprint a few years ago, are now becoming widespread and leave the sphere of industrial manufacturing to provide wider connectedness of devices at household level.
Cisco, for instance, is developing a digital factory for years by implementing principles from the Industry 4.0 concept. The main concept pertains to achieving connectivity between industrial equipment and constant data flow to access and analyze centralized information. The ‘smart plant’ of the future will take advantage decentralized decision making within IoT ecosystems, allowing flow of accurate information across an entirely connected manufacturing facility. It is not just about connecting devices on the factory floor but to merge information and operational technology to gain insights, optimize processes and create opportunities within a smart plant.
The IoT networks offer a lot of business opportunities ranging from delivery of personalized messages and promotions to consumers to creation of powerful computing networks for business purposes. At present, we witness the use of IoT devices for creation of malicious armies of devices by hackers but once all the security issues are resolved business can use these networks for completing tasks that require additional computing power.
3. Blockchain Is the Word of the Day
Blockchain hype is everywhere these days despite that many people actually use this term as substitute for cryptocurrency networks. The blockchain technology offers opportunities far beyond the creation of tokens and digital currencies tied to these tokens.
Businesses can use the existing blockchain algorithms, for example those behind Bitcoin and Ethereum, to create blockchain platforms dealing with problems across a variety of industries. You can have distributed ledgers enabling financial transactions, exchange of goods or services, execution of smart contracts, etc.
Furthermore, blockchain is a relatively new technology and hardly anyone can predict what all the future uses of this technology are. It will have huge impact on businesses, however, as it provides unparalleled transparency of business transactions and properties of any kind – from copyrights, to company ownership, to brand reputation, to online payments.
Virtualization of physical assets is another field where you can apply blockchain algorithms, but we are yet to witness successful implementations of the core idea. Real world implementations of blockchain technology may also include intellectual property rights over software, a problem that is currently being solved by software escrow services.
4. Artificial Intelligence is Progressing Fast
We are far from having a machine operating at the level of general AI i.e. a computing device that is actually thinking and communicating at all available levels and beyond, but we already have narrow AI that is able to perform increasingly complex business tasks. AI will play an increasing role in performing business tasks ranging from customer support (chatbots and virtual assistants), to invoicing and accounting, to creation of simple marketing content.
Businesses should differentiate between automation and AI, however many business processes and procedures can be automated without the use of an AI algorithm. To a great extent, chatbots are not AI things, too. Nonetheless, narrow AI will expand into new processes and will witness growing adoption across many industries in the next few years. Mostly thanks to advancements in related technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing.
5. Most Machines Are Learning Now
Machine learning algorithms power devices and software as diverse as smartphones, TV sets and vehicles. You can hardly implement an AI solution without having a sort of machine learning algorithm in place. And businesses are taking advantage of ML solutions that are able to create customer profiles and act based on these profiles, for instance.
ML algorithms are also able to process data coming from all your business platforms and thus feed AI-powered platforms that suggest best practices based on past experience. The possible use of ML and AI for business purposes is actually limited by your imagination only. You can find a good use for these technologies in manufacturing, trade, services, as well as in any field that requires B2B or B2C interactions. When automation of interactions is concerned, you need to consider also the growing abilities of software for natural language processing, which enables smooth automated communications and control.
6. Voice Control and Automated Communications
Auto responders should not be passive these days. Natural language processing is enabling the use of advanced responders for business applications. Furthermore, you can utilize lead generation tools that are able to converse with prospects without those even noticing that they are speaking to a machine or a software application.
The maturing of the NLP algorithms also allows the implementation of wide range of devices and software solutions that recognize and use voice commands. Voice control is suitable not only as a tool to issue commands to a device or an app but for purchasing goods and services online. Also, reliable NLP algorithms can power solutions as advanced as online payments and customer account administration.
7. Emergence of Quantum Computers
Quantum computing is a technology that will radically change how we process information and will make classical computers literary obsolete. Prototypes of quantum computers are still in research labs across the world but their time is coming.
These computers will solve pressing problems related to scaling, or large-scale optimization of various processes that include business processes. Currently we store information using bits represented by 0s or 1s. Quantum computers use quantum bits, or qubits, to encode information as 0s, 1s, or both at the same time. They also use quantum mechanics concepts of entanglement and tunneling to enable processing of vast combinations of states at once. This in turn will result in computing effectiveness at scales we have never seen before.
And while quantum computing is yet to hit the market running, all the other technologies mentioned above are already impacting virtually any business in the developed economies. The future, no doubt, is digital and technology will be the driving force behind any business development in the years to come.
Jorge Sagastume has 12 years of experience protecting IP and earning the trust of the greatest companies in the world. He has been invited to speak on IP issues by foreign governments and international agencies. You can connect with Jorge on LinkedIn.